16 June 2011

The Laugher Curve

Dear Reader,

Been over a week, I know. Partly it was that last weekend we were seeing our eldest get his Master's Degree. Because it was the same degree from the same school I attended (which convocation I did not attend) there was a lot of nostalgia as well as pride. Meanwhile, another church member died and thus another memorial was on schedule. Lots of emotions all at once.

No wonder I had a touch of insomnia.

Thankfully that is receding (gods and neurosis willing) and now I can turn to my next task which is attending my national religious meeting. That means these posts will be catch as catch can. Bear with me.

Before I go, let me share something that has been on my mind in the wee smalls. Republican hopeful Tim Pawlenty gave a big speech last week where he laid out his economic plan, with lots of jabs at the president. You can read a summary at the Washington Post website here.

The short version is that the way to fix the economy is to - big republican drum roll - reduce taxes. Long ago in this blog I pondered how the conservative answer to every problem is to lower taxes. T Pawl, as Stephen Colbert calls him, proudly waves the Laffer/supply side/Reagan flag here and that makes me wonder if maybe the sublime insight of Mr. Laffer could apply to other things.

If, as Laffer asserts, the closer taxes get to 100% the less people are willing to work (because they take home less and less) can we also say the same logic demands that the closer taxes get to 0% the less likely there is to be a government at all?

Now, for Fountainhead addled conservatives this approaches their idea of heaven. Only they and Lenin (ironically) actually think there can be such a stateless state. That's because realists regard the dream of a stateless society as laughable. It would require repealing human nature, which short of the rapture seems as unlikely as repealing gravity.

That's why I call the dream of ever lower taxes The Laugher Curve, only I am not laughing. What we have in Pawlenty and his kin is a form of political fundamentalism as outlandish and unbelievable as Rev. Camping's May 21 apocalypse.

And that would be OK if we all treated it as we did Camping's prediction. But no. Millions of Americans are buying this delusion.

Lenin would be proud.

No comments: